Hicks’ bill ‘to stop unfair issuing of court charges/warrants’ goes to Oklahoma Senate floor

Staff Report 
OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Carri Hicks has cleared the first legislative hurdle to keep individuals from being unnecessarily punished for not appearing in court when they are incarcerated or detained by law enforcement. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Senate Bill 44 Tuesday (February 23)  to dismiss any charges or warrants for such individuals — a move the Oklahoma City Democrat says will help stop the unfair practice.

“When someone is in jail or police custody and aren’t allowed to appear in court, that individual shouldn’t be punished with a warrant or additional charges,” Hicks said. “This is a necessary change to drop the fines for a situation the individual has no control over.”

S.B. 44 requires any charges or warrants issued for failure to appear in court to be dismissed upon the defendant showing the court that he or she was incarcerated or otherwise detained by law enforcement at the time of the failure to appear.

The bill is now on the Senate floor.